As part of the Manchester Day Parade, two Mechanical Sweepers make annual appearances dressed up in the fuzzy finery of the Manchester Bee, sweeping up the detritus left in the parades wake. While the floats change every year, as far as I’m aware the sweepers have made appearances at every parade so far.
The parade started in 2010, growing out of the success of Jeremy Deller’s Manchester International Festival’s event, Procession, which took place in 2009.
(On a sidenote – the book of Procession is available from Cornerhouse Publications and contains some excellent photographs, in particular on pages 32, 35 and top left 89)
While their appearance have been confined to the parade, a recent news item from the Manchester Evening News suggests that they might become a permanent sight around Manchester, with councillor Kev Peel having secured the council’s agreement to investigate the cost of such as scheme.[Update – 27-07-17] Here’s what the new painted design looks like: